Abstract art can add visual interest and intrigue to any style of interior design. With its focus on color, shape, texture, and composition rather than recognizable images, abstract art allows for very personalized interpretations and can be integrated into diverse decorative schemes. When selecting and arranging abstract pieces, consider the overall mood, palette, and layout of the space to create a cohesive look. Abstract art offers endless possibilities to make a unique decorative statement in your home or office.
Choosing Abstract Artworks for Specific Design Styles
Abstract Art for Modern Interiors
The clean lines and simplicity of modern design provides the perfect backdrop for showcasing vibrant, geometric abstract art. Large-scale paintings and sculptures make a dramatic impact in open, airy rooms. Focus on pieces in bold primary colors and basic shapes like circles, squares, and triangles to complement the streamlined look of modern furniture and architecture. Black and white abstracts also work well, adding eye-catching contrast. Opt for symmetrical compositions and repeating patterns to enhance the contemporary style.
Abstract Art for Eclectic Interiors
The eclectic interior embraces diversity in both color palette and furniture styles. This provides great flexibility when selecting abstract art. Feel free to mix different mediums like paintings, prints, sculpture, and textiles. Layer pieces in a salon-style gallery wall or scatter them throughout the room. Look for abstract works with a handmade or folk art aesthetic for an earthier eclectic vibe. Richly colored abstracts as well as neutrals help unify the look. Avoid an overly matching-matching sensibility. The joy of eclectic design is discovering harmonious connections between disparate elements.
Abstract Art for Industrial Interiors
The rawness of industrial design calls for abstract art with a similar urban edge. Look for pieces that incorporate industrial materials like metal, concrete, wood, and exposed brick directly into the artwork. Sculptures and wall hangings made from salvaged factory parts have an authentically gritty feel. Another approach is to soften the hard edges with organic abstract shapes and natural textures. Flowing asymmetrical compositions and muted color palettes evoke a sense of harmony in contrast to the structured industrial bones. Artworks that reference maps, architecture, and machinery also tie into the functional origins of the industrial style.
Abstract Art for Midcentury Modern Interiors
The midcentury modern look channels vintage 1960s design with its retro palette and iconic silhouettes. When selecting abstract art, focus on geometric forms, bold colors, and graphic patterns inspired by styles popular in the Mad Men era such as pop art, op art, and psychedelic art. Framed lithographic prints have an authentically retro feel. Seek out abstract pieces from well-known midcentury artists like Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Bridget Riley, and Victor Vasarely. Minimalist wood, ceramic, or metal wall sculptures also embody midcentury principles of simplicity and functionality. Avoid pieces that feel ornate or baroque to keep the clean-lined modernist aesthetic.
Abstract Art for Rustic Interiors
The textural, organic qualities of abstract art marry beautifully with the raw, natural materials of rustic decor. Handcrafted ceramic tiles, wood wall sculptures, and mixed media pieces resonate with the cozy, handmade look. Earth-toned palettes in warm browns, taupes, and russets complement the neutral backdrop. Representational nature-inspired abstracts and flowing asymmetrical compositions evoke the bucolic countryside. Look for artwork with layers, visible brushstrokes, and raw edges to emphasize the rustic charm. Avoid anything with too sleek or refined of a finish. The imperfections of folk and outsider abstract art convey the welcoming imperfection of the rustic aesthetic.
Abstract Art for Traditional Interiors
Incorporating abstract art into traditional interiors may seem like a contradiction in terms, but the two can beautifully coexist. The rich architectural details, elegant furnishings, and fine finishes typical of traditional rooms provide the perfect refined setting to highlight vibrant bursts of modern abstract art. Look for pieces that offer an intriguing conceptual counterpoint to representational landscape paintings and still life works. The juxtaposition of old and new creates visual dynamism. Just take care that the abstract selections feel special and collectible rather than kitschy or gimmicky. Curating, framing, and lighting choices help convey a sense of connoisseurship.
Abstract Art for Bohemian Interiors
Art plays a starring role in the creative bohemian interior. When selecting abstract pieces, opt for an eclectic mix of affordable prints, outsider art, and found object assemblages. Layering different sizes, frames, and mediums adds to the free-spirited vibe. Improvisational abstract works on paper feel right at home. Muted palettes and organic shapes complement boho textiles and vintage furnishings. Aim for abstract art that feels soulful and imaginative over slick or impersonal. Support emerging creatives and look for Finds at flea markets and art fairs. The bohemian spirit celebrates the handmade uniqueness of one-of-a-kind abstract art.
Abstract Art for Scandinavian Interiors
The clean-lined minimalism of Scandinavian design allows abstract art to take center stage. The bright whites and pale neutrals create a gallery-like backdrop for vibrant paintings and sculpture. Look for pieces that feel airy and light-filled, with negative space emphasizing simplicity. Geometric abstraction captures the precise Scandinavian aesthetic. Organic shapes can provide a nice contrast to the rigid lines of furniture and architecture. Black and white graphic prints and photography also tend to pop dramatically. Avoid any overly fussy details that might compete visually in the tranquil Scandinavian setting.
Abstract Art for Asian-Inspired Interiors
Many forms of Asian art utilize abstraction and simplicity to evoke contemplative moods conducive to meditation. Calligraphy, sumi-e ink painting, and Zen rock gardens exemplify this reflective minimalism. When selecting abstract art for Asian-inspired spaces, look for serene compositions, subtle neutral palettes, and nature-based themes. Monochromatic ink washes, fluid shapes, and mark-making capture the essence of East Asian aesthetics. Woven wall hangings and linen prints reference traditional silk scroll paintings. Stone, wood, and water elements can help extend a tranquil garden vibe indoors. The abstract art should strip away surface detail and allow room for mental relaxation.
Abstract Art for Glam Interiors
To fit the plush, reflective mood of glamorous interiors, look for abstract art and sculpture with a decadent flourish. Dramatic large-scale pieces establish the luxe ambiance. Opt for works in shimmering metallics, iridescent colors, sensuous fabrics, and organic shapes inspired by Art Nouveau. Custom mirror and light installations embed abstract elegance into the architecture itself. Gold leaf accents and hand embellishments push pieces intolavish territory. Avoid matte finishes and painterly textures that might disrupt the sleek glamour. Any abstract art in glam spaces should feel indulgent, alluring, and opulent.
Tips for Hanging and Arranging Abstract Art
- Create cohesion through color scheme: Limit the palette to 2-3 colors to create a harmonious composition. Monochromatic and complementary color schemes are reliable choices.
- Repeat shapes and motifs: Using a geometric or organic shape as a repeating visual motif ties a collection together.
- Alternate image sizes and shapes: Mixing up the proportions and dimensions adds dynamism and visual interest.
- Align artwork thoughtfully: Use the edges of frames and wall space to delineate invisible lines. Align pieces along these compositional lines.
- Layer media and frames: Combine paintings, prints, photography, textiles, and sculpture. Vary mat colors and frame styles for depth.
- Define functional zones: Use large statement pieces to anchor seating areas or highlight architectural details.
- Consider negative space: Leave breathing room between pieces and don’t overcrowd. Negative space is part of the composition.
- Incorporate 3D pieces: Free-standing sculpture adds shape and dimension. Plinths and platforms display 3D works.
- Take scale into account: Properly scale artworks for the wall size. Oversized pieces make a dramatic impact in expansive rooms.
- Emphasize focal points: Draw the eye to a specific wall or architectural feature with a dynamic central artwork.
- Start with a centerpiece: Choose one pivotal work and build the arrangement out from there for a cohesive presentation.
FAQs About Incorporating Abstract Art in Interior Design
What colors of abstract art work best for walls?
Neutral colored walls like white, beige, gray and black allow the artwork itself to take center stage. Bolder accent walls in colors like navy, emerald, or yellow create a vibrant backdrop for abstract art in complementary hues. Monochromatic walls in any vivid shade also enable the art to pop.
How do I mix abstract art and traditional decor?
Rather than evenly interspersing abstract pieces, try framing them as a curated vignette or gallery wall to contrast with more traditional elements. You can also pair antique furnishings with modern sculptural accents. Connect through complementary colors and textures. Abstract rugs and pillows add lively textures to ornate rooms.
Should abstract art match my furniture?
Cohesion is important, so echo colors from upholstery or rugs in the artwork. But matching too closely tends to feel contrived. Think about contrasting shapes and textures instead. For example, sleek leather furniture paired with gestural painting. Or soft textiles balanced by a geometric print. Art that intentionally clashes a bit with the decor makes for intriguing juxtapositions.
How do I make large abstract art feel cozy?
Very large-scale abstract art might overwhelm a small space. But thoughtful framing, warm lighting, and decor details can make aoversized piece feel more intimate. Add architectural and furniture elements like columns, moldings, built-in bookshelves, and comfy seating around the artwork to create a welcoming vignette.
Should I hang abstract art above the sofa?
Hanging abstract paintings, prints, or photos above a sofa is an excellent way to anchor a seating area. Make sure the artwork is large enough to feel proportional to the size of the wall and sofa. Aim for a width that’s at least two-thirds to three-quarters of the sofa length. Place the art about 8-12 inches above the sofa back to keep it visually connected to the furniture.
How do I choose abstract art for my dining room?
The dining room offers great opportunities to showcase vibrant large-scale abstract art. Intriguing abstract wall sculpture behind the table makes for engaging dinner conversation. For the narrower wall space, opt for a diptych or triptych painting configuration to expand the visual footprint. Contrast the verticality of abstract art with the strong horizontal lines of the dining table.
What type of abstract art is timeless?
Geometric abstraction tends to have an enduring, classic style across eras from Art Deco to Op Art and beyond. The elemental shapes and patterns offer a clean, universal aesthetic. Sculptural wall reliefs also transcend time periods. Mixed media collage and assemblage feel more rooted in a specific era’s aesthetic. Focus on fine art prints, photography, or painting over decorative prints for longevity.
The limitless creative possibilities of abstract art provide wonderful opportunities to add striking and meaningful touches to any interior. By considering the distinctive decorative elements and sensibilities of each individual design style, abstract pieces can be thoughtfully curated and integrated in ways that harmonize with the overall look and feel. From bold geometric statements to organic sculptural accents, the visual language of abstraction crosses all genres and eras. An investment in compelling abstract works that speak to your personal taste will never go out of style. Let your imagination wander freely when bringing the myriad joys of abstract art into your home.